Cannellini Bean Soup

Cannellini Bean Soup served with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil

Prepare a big pot of Cannellini Bean Soup in advance for great lunches or to feed a hungry crowd.

Ever have one of those days when everything seems to fall into place? Yesterday, following our religious services, we discovered that we needed to feed seven unexpected guests and only had thirty minutes to put everything together. We rushed home, took out some of our Bread with Herb Butter that we’d stored in the freezer, boiled some pasta, whipped up our Spaghetti Pomodoro, made a tossed salad and served it up with this phenomenal soup that we happened to make the day before. And guess what? Dinner was on the table in 25 minutes! Afterward, we served up our Fudgy Brownies with ice cream and an assortment of toppings for dessert and everyone went home full and happy. When we were alone and had a moment to catch our breath, we looked at one another and were amazed how far everything stretched, and couldn’t help but think that this must have been how Jesus and his apostles felt after they fed everyone with the loaves and the fishes. Tired but relaxed after a fun afternoon, we knew we needed to share this menu with you. Because with a little forethought, and a bit of serendipity, you too can make last-minute “miracles” like this possible.

PREP: 15 minutes + 1 hour soaking time
COOK: approximately 3 hours

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 3/4 cups dry cannellini beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 1/2 onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 small (6-inch-long) carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 celery stalks, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dry basil)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1. Rinse the beans well and place in a large pot. Cover the beans with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Allow to soak for 1 hour.
  2. Place the olive oil, onions and garlic in large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, after about 30 seconds, add the carrots and celery and continue to cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil and parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Drain beans, add to pot of vegetables, cover with 10 cups of cold water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender and creamy, at least 1 1/2 but up to 2 1/2 hours. Add water if necessary to achieve desired consistency; the soup should be thick. Add the salt halfway through the cooking. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

YIELDS: 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.

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About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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